Whether you’re planning an extended stay in Colombia, or seeking to improve your personal relationship with a Colombian partner or family member, mastering the local language and culture is essential.
Spanish textbooks, apps and even formal classes are all useful tools for learning generic phrases and grammar basics, but they won’t teach you most of the language you’ll constantly hear when chatting to Colombians. For example:
Textbook translation: "What more?"
Meaning in Colombia: "What's up? / How are things?"
Traditional learning resources largely miss out the most enjoyable parts of Spanish: the funny expressions, slang words, interesting quirks and little turns of phrase that are essential for having great conversations and properly connecting with the locals.
Add in these extras and you’ll rapidly find that you understand much more of conversations with Colombian friends and family, and that you can speak Spanish much more naturally. Armed with this new knowledge, you should also start to really enjoy using the language, and find it easier to join in the fun at Spanish-speaking social events.
By enrolling in this upcoming comprehensive video course (first modules to be released 1 November 2017), you’ll be able to move on from overly formal, textbook-style Spanish and start speaking like Colombians really do in their everyday lives.
'Conversational Spanish for Colombia' covers plenty of slang terms unique to the country, but the course is about much more than just that. In fact, a big focus is on the idiomatic expressions from international Spanish that are used in Colombia and which are essential for all sorts of friendly interactions.
This includes learning the little turns of phrase (stuff like: “what have you been up to?”, “by the way…”, “you’ve gotta be kidding me!”, “long time, no speak!”) which make for excellent English conversational fodder, but that we often lack when speaking Spanish.
In addition, we'll look at dozens of language tips and tricks that'll help you iron out the most common errors made by learners and discuss how to replace the stranger bits of 'gringo lingo' (foreigners' Spanish) with more natural-sounding local equivalents.
This course is designed specifically to cover the most useful conversational tidbits that classes, textbooks and apps usually skip over. I'm deliberately leaving the more established areas of Spanish tuition (think detailed explanations of grammar, verb conjugations, rules for indirect object pronouns and the like) to traditional teachers, who already cover this material expertly.
Instead, I'll walk you through the most fun and most useful of the hundreds of other expressions, idiomatic phrases and slang words which I've gradually learned during thousands of hours of conversation with Colombians. We'll cover all the extra vocabulary you'll need for every sort of informal situation in Colombia: from making friends to going out on the town and from small talk to dating.
With the assistance of a variety of Colombian native speakers and Spanish teachers, I'll cover the exact language and phrases you'll need to:
Pick up the key slang terms, expressions and cultural references that’ll help you bond with Colombians and ensure that you’re never again left on the sidelines of Spanish conversations.
Learn the Spanish words and phrases to cover a wide range of real-life scenarios – like dating, cursing, gossiping and going out on the town – for which formal tuition leaves us woefully unprepared.
Avoid endlessly repeating the same words (like “muy”, “mucho”, “bueno”, “malo”) and make your Spanish speech more interesting and enjoyable for a native speaker to listen to. We’ll cover a whole bunch of ways to mix-up the most oft-repeated terminology.
Learn how to avoid the common errors and clumsy-sounding literal translations of English phrases that instantly mark us out as non-native speakers.
After working through the favoured expressions and slang used by Colombians, you’ll start to build up a detailed image of the main elements of local culture. Understanding this is a vital, if often overlooked, stage to gaining true fluency.
I'm keen for you to progress quickly along your Colombian Spanish journey, and I’ll be with you every step of the way. I'm here to help if you have any questions about the course, about how a particular word is used in Colombia, about how to translate a given phrase into its local equivalent, or about near enough anything else to do with life as a foreigner in Colombia.
As a student, you'll have the opportunity to ask me whatever questions you want, at any time -- either by dropping me a quick line or in one of the 2x30 minute Skype sessions we'll have as part of the course. As you work your way through the material, you'll also receive regular feedback on quizzes and exercises that you complete as part of the course.
Given the high amount of personal interaction I have with students on this course, the number of places is limited to 30 for now so I can give everyone the necessary support and guidance with their learning. To become one of this small group cohort of Colombian Spanish learners, please pre-order now by clicking the button below (the first course modules will be released 1 November 2017).
Pre-register for the course now and you’ll get unlimited lifetime access to the learning materials and videos contained within nine detailed learning modules (you'll find the provisional course syllabus below). Work through the content completely at your own pace, returning to the sections most relevant to you as many times as you wish.
Not everyone learns languages in the same way, so it's as well to try a few different methods and tools. In recognition of this, I'm bundling in four free language learning bonuses along with any pre-order of this course:
All this should ensure that the content jumps out of the course and firmly embeds itself into your active vocabulary -- ready to be deployed in your very next Spanish conversation.
Peter Low is the author of the book, Colombian Spanish: phrases, tips and expressions to help you speak like a local, and edits a blog of the same name.
On first arriving to Colombia in 2007 he spoke little Spanish, but gradually (and painfully) built up his skills enough to gain work as a translator for clients including UK government agencies and academic journals. To pay the bills, Peter has written plenty of serious-type articles on Colombia for the likes of University College London and Jane’s Intelligence Review. However, it is the Spanish language -- and especially its Colombian incarnation -- that has always been his real passion.
Peter is joined as an instructor on this course by a variety of Colombian native speakers and highly proficient Spanish teachers.